The Christian Life & Mission

Christian Archy
What does it mean to be part of the kingdom of God? This questions should occupy the mind of every Christian. In this book I examine the New Testament to find the truly radical and all-encompassing claims of God's kingdom. In doing so, it becomes clear that the character of this kingdom is widely different from what is commonly contemplated today. Its glory is revealed only through suffering--a point that Jesus' disciples, then and now, have been slow to understand. Christ's claim to our total allegiance is one we seek to avoid at all costs. But there is only one way to victory and peace, and that way is the way of the Lamb.

Reviews (from Amazon):
“I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was challenging and certainly eye-opening for me as a pastor/elder to read. There are so many things that we have allowed into our churches that are absolutely un-Biblical. I am very grateful for Dr. Black's honest insight and perspective and for his courage to share the truth about how our churches must return to building Christ's kingdom instead of our own.”

“As a pastor I was thoroughly encouraged by this book as it reminded me of the goal toward which we should be pressing despite the plethora of current erroneous ecclesiology. Many concepts have become the sine qua non of evangelical Christianity, such as the necessity of homeschooling, the necessity of combating terrorists, the necessity of spreading democracy, the necessity of avoiding noticeable sins like smoking and drinking, and the necessity of upholding the traditions of each respective church. Dr. Black refocuses our attention upon what matters most; namely the Gospel and its proliferation throughout the nations. Dr. Black reminds us that it is not our job to legislate or control morality in the world, but it is our job to share the gospel. Consequently the gospel will transform the morality of the world by grace. Law has never been able to change behavior and therefore it is strange that the religious right would rely so much upon legislation. This book is a plea to return to biblical Christianity; Christianity that treasures and proclaims that Jesus died for us and consequently that we should take up our crosses and follow Him.”
The Gospel According To Four Women
Dr. David Black presents "The Gospel According To Four Women" at Calvary Chapel West Oahu on July 13, 2014:

It's All Greek to Me: Confessions of an Unlikely Academic
I wrote this book as an autobiography of my academic journey. Ever wonder how a boy from Hawaii become a Basel graduate and professor of Greek, and why I still teach Greek after all these years? You will find the answers in these pages.
The Jesus Paradigm
I've written this book for anyone who is dissatisfied with cultural Christianity and who longs for a greater reality in the whole Body of Christ. What does it look like to really follow Jesus Christ? The answer I found is that following Christ means living sacrificially, just like him.

You can see an excellent animated summary and recommendation by Austin Decker of Animated Bible and Theology below:

Reviews (from Amazon):
“All in all, this is an excellent book. Well written, accessible, challenging, reasonable for the most part. There is no higher compliment that I can give a book than to say it was challenging to me, made me want to read the Scriptures more diligently and that I marked pages and quotes liberally. This book did all three. It is a book that should and will challenge people to look at the assumptions we have about our walk as Christians, our view of the church and our status as redeemed sheep. Most importantly, this is a book that, as Alan Knox puts it, is strictly about discipleship and being a disciple of Christ involves a lot more than Sunday school, membership in a local church and dropping some money in the offering plate. It is a whole-life commitment. I hope that many Christians pick up this book, read it and examine themselves. I think the church will be far healthier if we focus on a life that is mission minded and Gospel centered, a life of discipleship that goes beyond theological camps and doctrinal triumphalism, and that sets aside public displays of religious piety for quiet service.”

“On one hand, Black's book is an academic work. His years of study in Greek, New Testament, hermeneutics, and history are ably demonstrated in this work. On the other hand, this book stands apart from many works of academia, because Black is unable (and does not desire to) separate this work from his life. In fact, he uses examples from his own work in the seminary in North Carolina, at his home in Virginia, and in countless villages and cities around the world - especially in Ethiopia - to exhort his readers to consider their beliefs and live them out! I have to admit that I did not first come across these lessons while reading this book. Instead, I've spent many hours discussing these concepts with Black. We've talked about being servants and ministers. We've talked about a church full of priests. We've talked about the church relying on the state. This book is a great reminder of the many discussions that I've had with my PhD mentor, and the reason that I asked him to be my mentor in the first place. Everyone reading this book will quickly realize that Black is not writing from an ivory tower. Instead, he's writing with hands covered with Ethiopian dust. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone. Read it... and share it with others... then live the pattern of life that you find in Scripture... the pattern of life in which only the Holy Spirit can direct you and empower you.”
My Life Story: by Becky Black
Before her passing, my wife Becky dictated her autobiography. She tells of the adventures she had in Ethiopia, her early years, her marriage to me, and her return to the mission field. One theme permeates these pages: Christ-centered living.

Review (from Amazon):
“Becky's autobiography will grip you from page one. She walks you through her life and shows you what it looks like to walk with ‘the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day’ (Gen. 48:15). Becky's autobiography says exactly what Jacob said in verse 15. My wife Lesly and I cried when we read this book. We, of course, knew MamaB (that's what we called her), and we were close. But you know what? Work through the pages of this book and you'll see the Becky we knew. You'll see the godly woman who modeled for us what it looked like to follow obediently after the one who gave his life for us on the cross. You'll see the one who was resolved from an early age to live for the sake of the gospel. Purpose? Becky had it. Love? Becky gave it. Wisdom? Yep, and lots of it. This book tells the story of a God who uses everyday people to do extraordinary things. And extraordinary they were.”
La Historia de Mi Vida (Spanish Edition of My Life Story)
La Historia de mi Vida por Becky Lynn Black no es la autobiografía de una celebridad. Es algo mucho mejor. La historia de Becky es un testimonio. Y el poder llegar a ser vencedores a través de la palabra de nuestro testimonio es una promesa (Apocalipsis 12:12). Un testimonio no solo se trata de una historia que satisface la curiosidad. Un testimonio presenta un llamado divino. La historia en este libro te llamará a poner a Dios en primer lugar, especialmente en tu matrimonio. Te llamará a las misiones. De hecho, este testimonio es la historia del Evangelio. Dios te ama, murió para salvarte y te llama a que te unas a Él en el ministerio de la reconciliación. No importa a donde vayas o cuales sean los problemas que enfrentes, pues Dios estará contigo. El no removerá todas tus dificultades, pero Él trabajará a través de ti de una forma u otra. Cuando Becky Lynn Black partió a su hogar en el Cielo, no fue una victoria del cáncer que trató de vencerla. Esto fue una victoria de Dios sobre la muerte, manifestada en la vida de Su sierva.
The Myth of Adolescence
This study looks at the origins of the theory of adolescence and finds it seriously flawed. I examine the age 12 and age 30 transitions in the life of Jesus and explore what impact this has on our understanding of human development.
Running My Race: Reflections on Life, Loss, Aging, and Forty Years of Teaching
Here is what I have written about this book: "This book is the story of my existence — a meandering spiritual voyage through the beautiful loud crazy called life." From the publisher's website: "Since November 2013 when his beloved Becky Lynn, wife of 37 years, went on to Heaven, Dave has been traveling a journey of grief but also a time of reflection with the immediate question of 'What's next?' What does it mean to be running 5K races and climbing mountains in Europe? What do you do when the silence is deafening at 3 a.m. and you can't sleep? What has the professor learned in 40 years of teaching? These and other questions are addressed and dissected and shared as Dave gets on with living and learning more in this loud crazy called life."
Seven Marks of a New Testament Church: A Guide for Christians of All Ages
What were the distinctive marks of an early New Testament church? Acts 2:37–47 has a list of seven aspects: evangelistic preaching, christian baptism, apostolic preaching, genuine relationships, Christ-centered gatherings, fervent prayer, and sacrificial living. Does your church look like a New Testament church?

Reviews (from Amazon):
“This was a fantastic read. Black voiced a lot of the same thoughts and concerns I've been wrestling with about the institutional church. It's encouraging to see these ideas coming from an academic and in a form that is easy for every believer to access. I especially appreciated his arguments for unity among the church, particularly in regards to decision-making. "[O]ur man-made method of decision-making... undermines the example of the early church. ... We vote, and leave an aggrieved minority. The early church waited upon the Spirit, and it produced a unified whole" (Location 596). His comments on the Lord's Supper are also excellent: "Other forms of communion (broken crackers and tiny cups), while perhaps more practical, fail to give significance to the importance Paul attached to the oneness aspect of the Supper." I started this book a bit skeptical since it was written by a seminary professor, but I was pleasantly surprised that Black set aside the filter of how-it's-always-been-done and compares church institutions to what is found in the New Testament.”

“There are no lack of books on the topic of the church. Most, and I say this with no hesitation, are garbage and consist of feel-good malarkey and repackaged business wisdom applied to religious organizations. It was therefore a welcome change to read Dr. David Black's newest work from Energion Publications, Seven Marks of a New Testament Church. . . . Top down leadership and top down centered ecclesiology is great for creating top heavy organizations but for the church we need to flip that order around as Dr. Black has done here. . . . [Seven Marks of a New Testament Church] is a book I can unreservedly recommend for anyone studying the church, whether one is seeking to reform an existing group and starting a new group from scratch. It is not long and it tends to raise a lot of questions, making it perfect as a study guide or introduction to ecclesiology. Get a copy, read it and then pass a copy or three on to your church friends. They might be surprised by what they read!”
Seven Marks of a New Testament Church: A Guide for Christians of All Ages (Simplified Mandarin)
Here is the Chinese edition of my book.
Siete Marcas de Una Iglesia Neotestamentaria: Una Guia Para Cristianos de Todas Las Edades (Spanish Edition of Seven Marks of a New Testament Church)
They Will Run and Not Grow Weary: 52 Devotions to Lighten Your Running Load
Here's the description on Amazon: "David Alan Black is a biblical scholar and serious theological thinker who also runs -- on his own, 5k, half marathons, marathons, and ultramarathons. In this book he connects running with one's spiritual journey. In these 52 devotionals, you'll find some of that strength for your journey, drawn from scripture and the experience of running, as well as the broader experience of life as a teacher, missionary, and family man."
Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?
Who is really supposed to go and fulfill the Great Commission? You? Me? The church in America has come to depend on professionals to "do ministry." In many churches, the pastor, paid to do the job, is the one who is expected to carry out all functions of the church. But it was not always this way. Instead of looking for professionals to do the ministry while the rest of us fill the pews, I point us back to the Gospel Commission and the call on every Christian life to fulfill that Commission.

Review (from Amazon):
“I encourage you to get your hands on this brief, but challenging book by Brother Dave. The heart of God’s revealed word is the gospel of Jesus Christ, inseparable from that is the call to make His name known to the lost and dying world. You--that's who God has chosen to be the tool of his great and powerful Spirit in evangelism of your Judea, your Samaria, and as God enables, the ends of your earth. Dave addresses missions as the calling of every believer, shows how the mundane and simple obedient life is a part of God’s means for reaching others, and contrasts the American dream we all drift toward with the lifestyle Jesus said it would take to follow him and love others. Dave challenges us to consider the global need and global work for Jesus, not as work for "a professional" but for each and every one of us. Dave is a man who lives this out. God laid down his life that we would know him, and he's called you to be a part of completing His work on earth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”